“2016 Solve for Tomorrow Grand Prize”: Inspiring The Next Generation

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – The challenges the world is currently facing are without precedent. More people live on this planet now than at any other time in history, the global population has doubled in the past 30 years, and there is an increasing strain on the world's natural resources. Thankfully, technology is advancing rapidly: transforming our lives, how we work, think and connect. Now, we need more young people in technology and science to help continue confronting these problems, especially, as we're living in times of huge unpredictability. No one knows what the world's going to look like in five years, yet it will be education that will help children make sense of the world they're going to live in and solve some of these challenges. The world desperately needs people who can be innovative and who can think differently.

Samsung's ‘2016 Solve for Tomorrow Grand Prize’ is helping to do just that by finding and inspiring the next generation. This contest challenges American students in grades 6 through 12 to use their STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills to innovate a solution to a problem affecting their community. It was created in 2010 to bridge the gap in STEM education in public schools across America; since it began, it has awarded more than $17 million in technology and prizes to more than 1,000 schools.

This year’s winners are five groups of public school students from across the U.S. Comfortable cardboard classroom furniture for special needs students, prosthetic enhancements for veterans, and a smartwatch app for pedestrian safety are the winning projects. The students will take home $120,000 in technology for their school, along with prizes from Samsung partners BrainPop, Adobe, National Environmental Education Foundation and Nepris. 

This year, the Grand Prize Winners were selected from more than 4,100 school groups that submitted ideas last October for how they would apply STEM to making a difference. Sadly, one of the major problems with education systems, not just in America, but in many of the old, industrialised countries, is the lack of things to impassion or invigorate them.

Our educational systems are becoming increasingly dreary and monotonous; most original thinking comes through collaboration. Great scientific breakthroughs have almost always come through some form of fierce collaboration among people with common interests, but with very different ways of thinking. Thomas Edison was one of the most prolific inventors in American history with over 1,100 patents in the U.S. Patent Office, yet his greatest talent was for inspiring others, which is why competitions like Solve for Tomorrow Grand Prize are so important and relevant. It allows a creative, collaborative process for the next generation with promising results for the future.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia